Heart Valve Repair or Replacement/Open Heart Surgery
Surgical treatment for valvular disease is usually postponed until symptoms
can no longer be adequately controlled with medications, but before irreversible
heart muscle damage has occurred. In some cases, narrowing or leakage
may be relieved by surgery that repairs the patient's own valve. In
other patients, the valve may be so badly damaged that it must be replaced.
There are several types of replacement valves available including a variety
of tissue or mechanical valves. Your surgeon will discuss with you which
type is most suitable for you. Depending on the type of valve used, the
patient may be required to take blood thinners to prevent blood clots
from forming on the new valve.